Hosting and Maintenance
There are a lot of choices when it comes to hosting companies, but once again, you get what you pay for and this can lead to problems.
Hosting companies rent you space for your website on the computers in their data center. They’re responsible for setting up the basic environment for those computers and providing the connections to the internet. It is what is known as a shared environment. Multiple websites run on a shared computer.
There are a two pitfalls – performance and security. To offer the low monthly rates, hosting companies are forced to cut corners. They might not have the latest software for the hosting environment example. The also need to cram as many websites as possible into a shared environment.
This leads to poor performance. That ticking sound your customers are hearing as they wait for your pages to load, get frustrated and click away, is because each website is only allowed a limited number of resources to make sure that there is enough for all. If you have a simple website with little traffic, you might be able to work with this. In many cases, especially when you have lots of plugins (features) you don’t have enough of resources and response times are very bad or your site might hang.
When the cost cutting means outdated software in the hosting environment, that can also contribute to poor performance. Of much greater concern is that the environment is vulnerable to attack. The economy hosting services are well known in the hacking community to be fertile ground.
It is possible with good technical expertise to lock down the website and to deploy a variety of measures to improve performance to reasonable levels. However, there is no way to change your allotment of computing resources and sometimes in is impossible to escape hitting the wall.
High Performance Secure Hosting
Security is a major concern for websites today. Countless "bots" scour the internet looking for websites that can be compromised. They're not hard to find because the majority of vulnerabilities are well publicized. Even if your website does not store private or confidential data, this is an issue. A compromised website will be flagged by Google and consumer security products and try to block users from going there. A SEO ranking for a blacklisted site will tank.
In addition to individual website protections, it is important to host your website with a reputable company. The economy hosting companies are known to be more vulnerable, and have a much higher percentage of outdated, neglected and therefore unprotected websites. Just like any thief or burglar, the bots concentrate on the neighborhoods where there are easier pickings. Being on a more secure platform doesn't just mean more secure doors and windows. It means fewer attacks.
Page speed is also a Google Ranking factor. Poorly performing websites with slow response times will not rank well compared to competitive sites that perform better. It's also a UX (User Experience) issue. Your customers do not like to wait for your website pages to appear.